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Stony Brook men’s basketball stomps St. Joseph’s in home opener

Shooting guard Toby Onyekonwu takes a three-point field goal against St. Joseph’s on Friday, Nov. 10. Onyekonwu scored a career-high 16 points in the victory on Friday. BRITTNEY DIETZ/THE STATESMAN

Career nights from the Stony Brook men’s basketball team’s youth lifted it to a win in its home opener.

The Seawolves (1-1) took the court at Island Federal Arena for the first time this season and blew out their NCAA Division III foes — the St. Joseph’s Golden Eagles (0-2) — on Friday night. Thanks to breakout games by shooting guards Jared Frey and Toby Onyekonwu, Stony Brook made easy work of St. Joseph’s in a 91-50 victory. 

Though Stony Brook was the clear favorite coming into the matchup, it struggled coming out of the gate. The team scored only two points through the first 7:20 of the game and did not connect on a jump shot until 11:31 remaining in the first half. The Seawolves shot only 3-for-15 during the opening stretch, something that head coach Geno Ford chalked up to rust.

“The first 10 minutes was bad offense,” Ford said in a postgame press conference. “I think a little of that was them doing a good job, and a decent amount of that was us not clicking and being ready to go.”

The dry spell was broken when Onyekonwu connected on a three-pointer, opening the floodgates for a flurry of scoring from Stony Brook. After starting the game shooting 8.3% from the field, the Seawolves ended the first half on a 37-15 extended run while shooting 51.6% during the spree to take a 41-25 lead into halftime.

The remainder of the game was not competitive, as Stony Brook doubled the Golden Eagles’ input and outscored them 50-25 in the second half. Frey led all scorers with a career-high 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, knocking down four of his six three-pointers. He also pulled down six rebounds and tallied two assists.

After playing only one game in his freshman season and not playing an official home game until Friday night, Frey was happy to finally get a chance to perform in front of a home crowd.

“This was my first game in Long Island, so it felt really good,” Frey said. 

Onyekonwu had the best game of his young career, scoring a career-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-3 from deep. He also contributed seven rebounds and two assists.

After being a starter for most of last year, Onyekonwu has embraced the role as the Seawolves’ sixth man and has not let it affect his performance.

“I just do whatever they tell me to do and just keep learning from the older guys,” Onyekonwu said.

Other key contributors for Stony Brook included small forward Tyler Stephenson-Moore and shooting guard Dean Noll. Stephenson-Moore was the team’s third-leading scorer with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting while Noll tallied nine points and a career-high seven steals. 

St. Joseph’s shot 30.6% from the field and 33.3% from three-point territory. Its leading scorer was center Spencer Malloy, who tallied 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting while also pulling down eight rebounds.

Stony Brook shot 12-for-28 (42.9%) from three-point range on Friday, which came as a breath of fresh air for Ford after a 4-of-16 showing on Tuesday at St. John’s.

“I thought St. John’s did a good job of getting to us; I mean they blocked two of our threes,” Ford said. “We’ve got a lot of good shooting, so I think that’ll be a strength for us from now to the end of the year.”

Stony Brook will now resume competition against NCAA Division I teams and travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Duquesne Dukes on Monday night. The Dukes are 2-0 after a 90-72 win over Charleston on Friday. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Kenny Spurrell
Kenny Spurrell, Assistant Sports Editor
Kenny Spurrell is an Assistant Sports Editor of The Statesman. He is a senior English major and journalism minor at Stony Brook University. He began covering sports for The Statesman during the Fall 2021 semester. Since then, he has covered men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and football. His passion for sports derives from his many years of playing basketball, football and baseball. He is a Long Island native from Selden, N.Y. and has dreams of becoming a sports journalist.
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